High-energy show revolves around Seuss icons

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
Lead characters in the Madison County Arts Council’s production of “Seussical the Musical” include: (front row, from left) Crystal Moran, Madison Wells, Hobbes Treynor, Bryce Reddick, Ben Treynor, Paul Smith, Julie Akers, Madeline Frambes; (back row) Jennifer Ruhlen, Billy Ruhlen, Austin Carter, Danielle Fredette, Paul Oswalt, Nathan Haley, Sierra Boyd and Jessica Fair.

(Posted July 12, 2017)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

“The audience gets to see the Dr. Seuss stories they know and love come to life. Kids will love it and adults will appreciate the message,” said Jason Hanrahan, director of the Madison County Arts Council’s production of “Seussical the Musical.”

The production, which marks the Arts Council’s 20th anniversary, will take place in the Joyce Hildebrand Auditorium at London High School. Show times are 7:30 p.m. July 21 and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. July 22. Tickets will be available at the door and are $12 for adults and $10 for students (high school age and younger).

The show centers on Horton the Elephant, the central character in the Seuss classic, “Horton Hears a Who!” The sensitive elephant discovers microscopic creatures living on a planet the size of a speck of dust. As he strives to protect the planet and the Whos who live there, other animals in the jungle make fun of him for believing in something they cannot see or hear.

Herein lies the message.

“It’s about using your imagination and not being afraid to think independently, even in the face of adversity,” Hanrahan said.

Horton, JoJo, Mayzie, the Cat in the Hat, and the Grinch are just a few of the characters who convey that sentiment through a high-energy combination of song and dance.

“It’s a fast-paced show. There’s not a lot of down time. We’re not even going to close the curtain,” Hanrahan said.

The 35-member cast features a mix of children, teens, and adults, all of whom mesh well together, said the first-time director.

“It’s been a really good group to work with. I lucked out with solid leaders who can take the children and help them through things,” Hanrahan said. “The vocal talent has been great, too.”

Joining Hanrahan at the helm are Brynne Adkins as choreographer and Christian Slagle as music director.

The cast is as follows: Cat, Paul M. Smith; Horton, Paul Oswalt; JoJo, Austin Carter; Gertrude, Danielle Fredette; Mayzie, Shelby Dodds; The Sour Kangaroo, Jessica Fair; Roo, Sierra Boyd; the Bird Girls, Crystal Moran, Julie Akers and Madeline Frambes, Madison Wells; the Wickershams, Ben Treynor, Hobbes Trey-nor and Bryce Redick; Mr. Mayor, Bill Ruhlen; Mrs. Mayor, Jennifer Ruhlen; General, Aaron Gates; The Grinch, Kevin Brown; Yertle the Turtle and Vlad Vladikoff, Nathan Haley.

Playing jungle animals are: Stephanie Weimer, Shannon Treynor, Jennifer McCurdy, Sydney Pollard, Parker Ruhlen, Ashley Hay, Dean Harris, Emma Wasinger, Kennedy Wilson, Josh Lickliter, Rylee Hannah, Rachel Jackman, Josie Harris, Anna Melfi and Charles Melfi.

Playing Who citizens are: Sydney Pollard, Parker Ruhlen, Ashley Hay, Dean Harris, Emma Wasinger, Kennedy Wilson, Josh Lickliter, Ciera Bierbaugh, Rylee Hannah, Rachel Jackman, Josie Harris and Charles Melfi.

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